Bharat Express

Modi vs. Mamata: Clash Over Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, and Bharat Sevashram Explained

A spokesperson for Bharat Sevashram Sangha stated, “From cyclones to COVID, we have always rushed to the aid of the affected in far-flung areas.

Modi vs. Mamata

Modi vs. Mamata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of attacking organizations like ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram Sangha, alleging she did so under pressure from the Muslim vote bank.

“The TMC, which has intimidated and threatened the people of Bengal during elections, has crossed all limits this time. Today, in the country and the world, ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are known for service and morality, but the chief minister of Bengal is openly threatening them from an open platform… They are threatening them just to appease their vote bank,” Modi stated.

During an election campaign on Saturday, Mamata Banerjee accused ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram of acting on instructions from New Delhi. She mentioned a WhatsApp group associated with followers of the Ramakrishna Mission. “Why will monks get involved in this? Everyone respects Ramakrishna Mission. I know that the monks of Ramakrishna Mission do not vote. Then why do you tell others to vote for the BJP? Not everyone, but some people (monks) are violating,” Mamata remarked.

“I used to respect Bharat Sevashram Sangha. But I have been hearing the name of one Kartik Maharaj who said he will not allow Trinamool agents at the booth. I don’t consider him as a monk because he is directly in politics… I have identified people who are doing this,” she added.

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Mamata highlighted that her government had supported Ramakrishna Mission and ISKCON by providing them land. Following Modi’s comments on Sunday, BJP’s Amit Malviya announced that Bharat Sevashram Sangha would approach the high court against Mamata’s statements for maligning Hindu saints. Kartik Maharaj, who was named by Mamata, denied making any statements about Trinamool agents.

Bharat Sevashram Sangha, a Hindu religious and spiritual organization, was founded in 1917 by Swami Pranavananda Maharaj. ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is a Vaishnava Hindu religious organization. Ramakrishna Mission is a spiritual organization founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1897, named after his spiritual guru Ramakrishna.

Reacting to the controversy, a senior monk at Ramakrishna Mission’s headquarters in Belur told PTI, “We are pained and anguished at the insinuations… we do not wish to be implicated in any controversy… thousands of visitors from all walks of life come to our premises to pray and meditate, including the PM and the CM… everyone is the same for us.”

A spokesperson for Bharat Sevashram Sangha stated, “From cyclones to COVID, we have always rushed to the aid of the affected in far-flung areas. We are a 107-year-old organization, and our monks run charitable health clinics, hospitals, and educational institutions across the country. Neither had we ever been involved in politics nor will we be in the future.”